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Annual Tuck River Cleanup slated for April 15

tuck river cleanup


By Julia Duvall

The annual Tuck River Cleanup will be held on Saturday, April 15, with registration being held from 9-11 a.m. at Western Carolina University’s Alumni Tower.

The Tuck River Cleanup is one of the nation's largest single-day river cleanups. Hundreds of volunteers unite to clean 20 miles of the Tuckasegee River from Cullowhee to Whittier.

“The Tuck River Cleanup is a great opportunity for communities in Western North Carolina to come together around the common cause of environmental stewardship,” said Martin Jacaruso, coordinator of the Tuck River Cleanup. “Many of us have chosen this as our home for the natural beauty of the region and the numerous recreational opportunities. The Tuckasegee River is an incredibly important resource, not only to our local ecosystem, but the recreational economy of the region as well. The annual Tuck River Cleanup is just one of the ways that WCU can bring the community together to care for our shared home and be good stewards of our important environmental resources.”

To raft the river, participants must register the day of the event. Due to available gear, registration will be limited to about 500 volunteers.

There are alternative walking routes for those not meeting the requirements to raft the river or anyone who would prefer to not be on the river. Walkers can register between 10-11:00 a.m. Walkers should wear comfortable shoes and clothing that can get dirty. The number of walking volunteers will be capped at 30 due to the amount of available transportation.

The first 300 volunteers to register will receive a free T-shirt. Trash bags, gloves and transportation to and from rafting and walking routes will be provided.

“The Tuck River Cleanup typically sees hundreds of volunteers paddle the river and walk the banks, cleaning up around 2,000 pounds of trash in the process,” Jacaruso said. “We hope to see another great turnout this year as we adventure in service and give back to our WNC community.”

Base Camp Cullowhee does not preregister volunteers for the Tuck River Cleanup.

Rafting Requirements:

  • The minimum weight to raft the Tuckasegee River is 40 lbs.
  • Base Camp Cullowhee will provide participants with a paddle, personal floatation device and raft.
  • While on the river, each volunteer is required to wear a personal flotation device.
  • It is imperative that you take an active role in getting your raft down the river.
  • Wear comfortable clothes that you can get wet and dirty.
  • Each volunteer must wear shoes that will not come off during a swim. Flip flops and Crocs are not permitted.
  • Coolers and glass are not permitted on the river.

For more information, contact Jacaruso at 828-227-8804.

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